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Cooking Dinner For The Ex And His New Boyfriend: A Story of Spice And Betrayal

Written on 2/1/07

Since the beginning of time, certain questions have plagued the human race. Several heated debates have escalated from inquiries such as: Does God exist? The chicken or the egg? To be or not to be? And not to mention the infamous, "What are you doing tomorrow night?"

Three days ago I was caught off guard. I was vulnerable. I was distracted. I was in my underwear watching an episode of CSI Miami when he asked. I, under the influence of the masculine, Cuban, CSI Eric Delko, who's been in 109 episodes of the show from 2002-2006 (Call me obsessive why dont'cha) immediately responded when my roommate walked into my room.

Ali: "Nando, what are you doing tomorrow night?"
Nando: "....not're...blocking Eric's...dimples...juicy lips and...perfect teeth!"
Ali: Great! I'm cooking tomorrow night and I've invited Micheal over cause I want you to meet him.
Nando: (In shock and lying through my teeth) Oh Great! I can't wait!!

Ali and I had been living together as roommates for the last 11 months, before that, we had a brief yet passionate love affair in the summer of 2002. He was 20 years old and I was a mere 27-year-old Mexican boy filled with innocence and vitality. We had proclaimed love to one another by declared passionate phrases that only a Mexican and Pakistani could share--we had seen the future and we were going to surpass the odds against us. Ours was a romance worthy of a Bollywood script--nothing--I mean nothing would be able to keep us apart. Three months later we called it off and just like that, it was over--like Michael Jackson's career.

Now, he was more than just a roommate. He was more of a brother-type character in my life who left the cap off the toothpaste, left his NYPD thong on floor (he's not a NYPD), and used up my Crest whitening strips without replacing them.

Ali began to date "Michael" two months ago and I admit I was curious about the guy. Ali talks about Michael incestuously and naturally that aroused my curiosity. I was involuntarily directed to Michael's website in the middle of my musical downloading routine. My laptop was whisked away during a search for Jessica Simpson's remixes-don't judge. Ten little Pakistani brown fingers began to type in a certain URL address on my computer and just like that, Michael and his designing website were in my face.

I acted as if I didn't care. But Ali, as energetic as a perky chihuahua on 30 cups of coffee exclaimed, "LOOK! This is Michael!" I took my laptop back and said, "I don't have time to look at it now, I'll review it later," except that I accidentally deleted the history on my computer and lost the URL address. I couldn't ask for it again because that would make it seem like I was "interested" in learning about this Michael and clearly I was not.

So the next day at work, I researched Michael by career, age, nationality, and sexual preference. And BAM--after six hours of hard work, his website finally popped up. I clicked on the site and there I was, face to face with Micheal, my exes new boyfriend. I hit enter and before I could blink, photo galleries of this guy invaded my screen. I clicked on the thumbnails and I was suddenly out of breath. My heart was racing, my palms were sweaty and the room began to spin--you'd think I was at a male wet underwear contest. Michael was HOT! His eyes, the hair, the killer smile.

Now, I am a civil person. I watch Oprah. I give to the needy. I do not wish evil onto my ex-boyfriends. I want them to be happy, to move on after me and to try and experience joy again. But I understand that after being with me, there is no real joy, but I wanted Ali to be happy, but not this happy! MY GOD!

After noticing my panic attack, my colleague Chelsea rushed over to my desk as I turned a lighter shade of pale and was out of breath. "What's wrong Nando? Are you okay?" she exclaimed. She then looked at my computer screen, ignored my health status, took my hand off the mouse and began to click through Michael's photos. "Who is this? Are you dating him? He's hot...and successful! Wow! What a catch. How did you find this one? Why are all the good ones gay?"

Nando: (with limited air circulating through my lungs) No!!
Chelsea: Oh.
Nando: Yeah!
Chelsea: Well, he's not that hot. Look, one eye is bigger than the other.
Nando: Really? Which one?

After surviving that episode, I decided to keep my jealously to myself and not mention anything to Ali. A few days later while talking to my friend Lucky over the phone I mentioned this situation and he asked me for Michael's website. It seemed that I brought Ali and Michael up in all my conversations and Lucky was tired of hearing about it and wanted to check things out for himself.

Reviewing the site:

Lucky: I'm not impressed with his work. I've seen better. His website lacks luster and these models are old.
Nando: What are you talking about--models
Lucky: On his site, he's a photographer right
Nando: No, you typed in the wrong address. I did it too the first time, that photographer has the SAME NAME. Retype the URL link for the right Michael.
Lucky: OH MY GOD! This guy is HOT as HELL! Look at his lips, his smile, Ali is one lucky bastard! Damn Nando, this guy is HOT! Good for Ali!
Nando: It's all lighting if you ask me, plus, his left eye is bigger than his right eye.

Thursday came and Michael was due to arrive at our apartment at any minute. Ali was frantic and kept asking me to check the chicken, wine, and the candles. He asked me not to put too much spice in the chicken because Michael doesn't eat spicy foods. But after hearing that Michael would also be spending the night, I was tempted to put an extra spoonful of chile powder in the mix, but I decided against it--I put two spoonfuls instead.

Nando: Does Michael know about our past? (adding extra red chillies in the pot)
Ali: Yes, I told him one month after we started dating.
Nando: Really?

The buzzer rang and Micheal was downstairs. Ali rushed down to get him and I rushed into the bathroom to check my: teeth, hair, moisture- pattern, eyebrows, cheekbones, lashes, legs, package, shoes, jeans, nipples, neck-hair and nail. I heard them inside the apartment and came out of the bathroom. I saw Michael walking towards me and extend his hand.

THERE WAS A GOD! Or as Miss Sophia in The Color Purple would say , "Tay is a God!" It looked like age had gotten the best of Michael. The hair - gone. His nice masculine and muscular shape had been replaced with a more rotund figure, and unless he'd shrunk, the photos were "kind to him" making him look taller. I was in heaven. I extend my hand out to him and with a sincere smile declared, "I'm SO glad to meet you, Michael!"

Ali: (nervous) Nando, will you check the chicken again
Nando: (happily) Sure.
Ali: (nervous) Nando, should I heat the pitas now
Nando: (agreeable) Sure.
Ali: (nervous) Nando, do you think the wine is chilled already?
Nando: (annoyed) Yeah.
Michael: (analytical) Wow Nando, looks like Ali would be lost without you.

Awkward silence filled the room.

Nando: (enjoying himself) I think he's just nervous cause it's the 1st time he cooks for you.
Ali: (finally relaxing) Baby, do you want some wine
Nando and Michael: Sure.

More awkward silence filled the room.

Eventually, we had dinner, drank wine, and shared stories but Michael, for some odd reason, kept asking extra water refills and was sweating profoundly. By the end of the night I thought to myself, "I think I can learn to like this guy." Around 3 a.m., Michael was in the bathroom rummaging through the medicine cabinet looking for stomach relief--too bad he wasn't able to find any medicine as it all ended up underneath my bed. All in all, I think the night was a success.

The morale of the story:
A. Never judge a book by it's cover.
B. Don't have an ex help you cook a meal for your new boyfriend.
C. Despite my contributions to Oprah's Angel Network, I am evil and going to hell.

Related Links:

Nando & His Peeps
Nando Dates The 18 Y.O.
Musical Review: The Boss In The Satin Kimono

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